Lost Creditability or Credit Ratings? by politfake
Is there an invisible, resistive shell around this White House? It's not as if rogue Republicans ever obscure their slash-and-burn battering, nor shy away from telegraphing relentless, predatory, anti-federal punches. That Texas-size policy contradictions erupt is, apparently, beside the point, if Iowa hayseeds count. Logic and Tea Party politics were always mutually exclusive.
Why not a straw-poll Bachmann-Paul ticket? Better still: Perry-Bachmann, winning the Old South, conservative, small-town Mid-west voters along with western-prairie GOP strongholds. Just add FL, OH, and PA. Right, a bonanza of backwoods boneheads resolving America's complex of high-risk, high-tech challenges! When does deadlock not signal downfall, epitomized by our bipartisan default in national leadership -- and not just in politics? Are CEOs or clergymen, professors or union leaders, showing a better way? Yes, climate scientists are trying hard but ideology vetoes evidence -- so it's no wonder the center isn't holding and 75% of us bemoan the nation's direction.
Bottom line: we cannot win or end wars of choice any more, grow jobs (except overseas), nor fend off calamities -- from criminal banksters, oil spills, or mining accidents. Turning debt creditability into a political football caps the power gridlock from 2010 elections. What's "exceptional" now is our emerging "can't do" spirit -- can't do taxes, can't grow industries, can't do planning, can't exit quagmires -- now can't do compromise. Paralyzed, top leadership, right or left, staggers and freezes, risking credit and, worse, national credibility.
Nearly as transparent and predictable as Tea Party nonsense is White House capitulation, crippled, letting without serious combat a radical 20% minority dictate whether the entire federal government lives or dies. This is an historic tipping point as, most tellingly, no outside forces or agents, human or natural, drive this fiasco, no new spending or real proposals (read: problem-solving) are being debated, and no pitiful cries from corporate overlords come forth: "Please, sir, more interest-free loans."
Nothing Tiny about TP Govt.
The biggest joke is Tea Party theocrats won't dismantle big government -- not when anointing invasive crusaders with Christian banners to support "friends," or commit billions battling "terrorism" while abusing civil rights, or impede/outlaw abortion rights, gay rights, even teaching evolution, climate change or the obsolete line between church and state. For the Bachmann-Perry Dominionist gang, righteous government must be large enough to enact their distorted, Christian-Koch Brothers delusions to regain Reagan's golden age. A rightwing government that hates taxes but glorifies control of sin can go bankrupt, too. Imagine costly armies of prosecutors to root out unAmerican members of Congress, or investigate/impeach an unAmerican president, plus monitor/crush dissent, perceived or real.
Why President Obama doesn't blast such blatant anti-Americanism mystifies, if only to redeem his popularity. Either this administration remains as insular and self-satisfied as Bush-Cheney or Obama is just as entrenched as all his key advisers (economic, military, State Dept., education, or resource regulators). This is no idle Obama Bush linkage, for W. never belittled his own base, nor forgot which loyal voters re-elected him. Despite jokes about being "compassionate conservative" -- the "Decider's" greatest bit of hucksterism after WMDs, W. stayed with his source -- as rock-ribbed corporate, Republican tax cutter, deregulator, and military defender-expander of empire. To what source or constituency is Obama this loyal?
Perhaps Obama should scrutinize the jaw-dropping Iowa debaters, figuring how best to defang federalism. A smarter Obama PR team would feast on this spectacle -- not one GOP candidate would barter one dollar of taxes against ten dollars of cuts. After winning the Straw Poll, the Bachmann blistered on, pledging to "update" 80 year-old Social Security (and fix Medicare), however unrelated to the Great Deficit Debt Panic of 2011.
America's Accreditation Wobbles
Give the GOP its head and America will forego its national accreditation as a 21st C. country, regressing a hundred years with no new taxes, taboos against abortion, criminalizing homosexuality, no regulation of banksters, no Obamacare, and politicizing the Federal Reserve. Who needs the EPA when "drill, baby, drill" is the law of the land? Most distressing is that Obama's White House missed this debt ambush until too late, as if Tea Party fanatics ever held their fire or showed any finesse. Great, we know know how much damage a minority can do, trumping job growth, stimulus-infrastructure spending or people-friendly programs, like Food Stamps or unemployment insurance. The government cupboard is bare for the have-nots as the merciless haves dominate a Democratic president and nominally Democratic Senate.
And if you liked last month, you'll love the next two, maybe six years (with or without Obama). What deters the righteous right from pulling its Politics Of No stunt on every upcoming event or decisions? After all, winning was quick and cheap, leaving the president looking like a weak whiner, last week stuck with this deception, "There is nothing wrong with our country. There is something wrong with our politics."
Right, so Obama sees no correlation between country and politics, nor his leadership and country or politics, for that matter. Tin-ear in evidence, Obama not only denies the obvious but takes no responsibility for anything, like an underwhelming Stimulus program, caving to hundreds of billions in budget cuts last year (without ending Bush tax giveaways) and now to 1.5 billion more cuts. The sure sign of an impotent leader is not anticipating ambushes, having no effective strategy under fire, and appearing to learn nothing from the disaster. Would admitting failure not be a good start or, like W., is that forbidden, another sign of weakness?
Losing Capital With Nothing at Stake
Unlike pitched battles over Supreme Court nominees, controversial legislation, or budget calls -- where something real is at stake -- this dumb defeat came without winners, except to excite the worst and the dimmest among us. The right sucker-punched the president and the country, delivering the gift of unstable interest costs and diminished credit status. There was no political there there -- no identifiable cuts, just postponement and chaos until the fall, when social programs will also fall. Next time, were the left ever again to embrace a candidate, check his hardball negotiating skills; the guy, "with a liberal voting record," stinks at deal-making, even worse than breaking promises.
I endured (in theory) why Obama's accommodated heavyweight players, like Big Pharma BEFORE pushing health care, or letting onerous BP or banksters (or loathsome W.) off the hook. But losing on the debt ceiling without gaining anything -- other than his own plummeting approval numbers and a volatile stock market -- strikes me as far more than "just another loss," but a spiritual-intellectual-power tipping point about incompetence and negligence, even bad faith.
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